India’s Central Bank Reveals 50000 Users and 5000 Merchants Now Using Digital Rupee – T. Rabi Sankar, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), announced that the central bank’s digital currency pilot program has achieved its initial goals. The high-ranking official at the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), disclosed that the central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) has gained 50,000 users and is now accepted by 5,000 merchants.
The retail digital rupee pilot program, which commenced on December 1st of last year, is currently being tested in five Indian cities, but the RBI intends to expand the pilot to nine additional cities in the near future. To date, approximately 770,000 digital rupee transactions have been processed through eight participating banks, with the central bank planning to add five more banks to the pilot shortly.
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Elaborating: “We want the process to happen, but we want the process to happen gradually and slowly. We are in no hurry to make something happen so quickly.” Reliance Retail, India’s largest retailer, has declared that it intends to accept payment in digital rupee form.
The retail giant has teamed up with ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and fintech Innoviti Technologies to incorporate support for the central bank’s digital currency in its Freshpik gourmet store chain throughout India. As per the CBDC tracker by the Atlantic Council, 114 nations, accounting for more than 95% of the world’s GDP, are currently investigating the potential of a central bank digital currency.
In the meantime, the central bank of India has persisted in advocating for an absolute prohibition on cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether. The Governor of the RBI, Shaktikanta Das, has cautioned that cryptocurrencies pose a danger to the nation’s financial stability and will trigger the next financial meltdown unless they are outlawed.
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Moreover, the RBI governor said last month that “cryptocurrency does not have any underlying value,” warning that “It will undermine the authority of the RBI and lead to the dollarisation of the economy.” Other RBI officials have similarly cautioned that crypto could lead to the dollarization of a part of India’s economy “which will be against the country’s sovereign interest.”